07 June 2005

The Purpose-Driven Blog

I just started reading this. I know nothing about Scott C. Mooney, so I won't necessarily vouch for everything he writes. The style of these journal entries is slightly wordy and meandering. But hey—that's how journals are, and Scott certainly has some helpful observations about the shortcomings of The Purpose-Driven Life.


23 comments:

Cindy said...

Haven't had a chance to read it yet, but Mooney sure looks like he was separated at birth from this guy:

http://www.soultracks.com/mcdonald2.jpg

Renee said...

Very true Cindy.

I just read some of the post (I will have to wait til later to read the entire thing), however, he did hit on the same issues I had with the book (granted I never made it through day three). I had read so many self-help psychology books in the past that by day three of Purpose, I saw pictures of Oprah and Doctor Phil in my mind and since I had already read those :) why retread?

Renee said...

BTW Phil...
I like your rules for the blog...

Hope you don't mind if I borrow a few :)

Reformer said...

Phil, Thanks for finding this guy. He lives not far from where I used to pastor. Too bad I didn't know him then.

By the way, I told Philip DeCourcy about your blog... he just laughed and said, "How does he have time for all this..."

Maybe I'll get him to read it sometime, but I'll have to show him how to open up WIndows Exporer first!

Johnny said...

Phil,

I was wondering if you could comment on MacArthur's comments he made in an interview with VCY America.

http://vcyamerica.org/crosstalk/event_popup.cfm?programid=1041

Here's what he said in nutshell:

This movement believes that you are the goal of the gospel and God is the means to get you to that end, be it happiness, meaning, etc. The goal of the gospel, on the other hand, is God.

Yet, Warren says in The Purpose Driven Life...
First two paragraphs:

"It's not about you.
The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It's far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions. If you want to know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God. You were born by his purpose and for his purpose." p. 9

Later:
"It's all for him.
The ultimate goal of the universe is to show the glory of God." etc.

S. C. Mooney said...

What is easier: to tangle up a skane of yarn, or to untangle it?
Sure, Warren says, "It's not about you." He also says that God would rather die than to live without you! Thanks for the link to my blog. It is generating a lot of traffic and this is something that needs to be more critically examined in the Church.

Phil Johnson said...

Johnny: I didn't hear the interview and don't have time at the moment to download and listen, but here's my two cents on the question you raise:

On a few occasions I have been asked to review PDL, and I've also noted the discrepancy between the book's opening line ("It's not about you") and the actual content of the book. This IS a book about "you"—your purpose, your self-fulfillment, etc.

In fact, the irony first stands out boldly on the book's own dedication page:

"This book is dedicated to YOU."

The review I linked to in this blog entry starts by making this very criticism: Warren begins well, but he almost instantly loses sight of the excellent point he makes in his opening sentence.

My assessment would be that Rick Warren DOES tend to present the gospel itself as if it's all about me—my peace of mind, my happiness, my fulfillment, and my purpose in life. So I agree with the statement you referred to. A one-sentence denial by Warren at the start of the book does almost nothing to undo all the man-centered material that fills the rest of the book.

Sled Dog said...

I tend to think of the PDL book as Christianity Lite. There are so many more avenues to explore in our understanding of God.

The intro to the book does say "This book is dedicated to you." But then there is the following: " Before you were born, God planned this moment in your life. It is no accident that you are holding this book. God longs for you to discover the life here created you to live - here on earth and forever in eternity."

He then quotes Ephesians 1:11 from the message paraphrase, with the intent focused on the fact that God predestines us to Him. Sounds sort of calvinistic!

Sled Dog said...

The PDL is not a theology text, so I don't expect it to answer all my questions.I imagine most believers, when sharing Christ, don't go into a dissertation (sp?) about those who don't respond to Christ. We simply explain man's problem, God's solution, and our role of trusting in Christ's work.

I saw Warren on a Larry King Live a while back, and I felt he was clear on the message of the Gospel. Much more so than Bruce Wilkinson was when he was on Larry King Live post 9/11!

David said...

We should observe that the study in anthropology that we are discussing in this blog is not 'The Purpose-Driven Life' but 'The Purpose-Driven® Life'. Zondervan have registered the phrase 'Purpose-Driven®'. We can assume that the same therefore applies to Warren's 1995 study in ecclesiology.

However it is not yet clear whether the abbreviated form of these titles are registered e.g. PD®L and PD®C. No doubt it's in the small print somewhere but I'm going with it just to be safe.

Brendan O'Donnell has written an amusing review of PD®L and I have blogged the details over at beginningwithmoses.blogspot.com under the title 'The Purpose-Driven® Cheese'.

David®

David said...

Apologies - I deleted my first blog due to some typos! I re-posted it above. All those ®'s!

Renee said...

David,
Thanks for the hat tip on "the Purpose Driven Cheese"...

that was a great read.

Last night while flipping channels, I caught a Paula Zahn interview (or pieces of an interview) with the Smiling Reverend Joel Olsteen. This was after I had listened to the interview mentioned with John Macarthur on VCY America (it was about the book Fool's Gold and mentioned the Purpose Driven life). I won't even comment on what came out of the mouth of Joel and some of his "groupies" (maybe that is harsh but once you read what some of them said, they sounded no different that someoen leaving a Rolling Stones concert or an Elvis fan). I am still recovering from it all :) however you can read the transcript here:

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0506/07/pzn.01.html

Renee

Sled Dog said...

In this Larry King Live interview, Warren talks about sin, salvation through Christ alone, etc:

http://www.religionnewsblog.com/9502-Interview_With_Rick_Warren.html

I don't agree with everything Saddleback does, but the Gospel is pretty clear in this interview

Renee said...

No crucifiction and resurrection and why in that interview (like all his other Larry King interviews and the book itself)....

Nothing about there is only one way and that is thru Jesus (that's to offensive) ...


the typical feel good I'm a sinner, you're a sinner, God forgives, Do not judge answers (typical Ashamed of the Gospel double speak) ...

Sled Dog said...

Well, he didn't speak about the Trinity either. Or the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit for that matter...it seems a bit demanding to ask someone to nail it all down in one interview.

And he did talk about the ressurection:

"Evangelicals...believe that Jesus Christ was who he claimed to be, that he was the son of God, and that he proved it by being raised from the dead."

He also broached the subject of "one way":

"I just believe there is one savior, Jesus Christ."

What Warren also covered was...

-The historicity and reliability of Scripture
-The falleness of man (Rom 3:23)
-The sovereignty of God amid crisis situations (Rom 8:28)

Like I said, I'm not a Warren bandwagon rider, but I don't think he failed in that interview.

Renee said...

A bit sensitive...

anyway, enough of this dead horse, you are entitled to believe he did fine

Sled Dog said...

Not sensitve, just stating the facts...If we're going to make claims, I just feel we ought to back them up.

That said, I haven't read or heard any other interviews by RW. It is very likely that Rick may have slipped a theological noose around his own neck before...(and I'm going to guess he probably has.)

The thing that drives me crazy about Warren is his over usage of paraphrases. It's hard to read a line that starts with. "The Bible says..." and then read a line out of the Message. Kind of takes the wind out of the sails...

Renee said...

Ok...
"Evangelicals...believe that Jesus Christ was who he claimed to be, that he was the son of God, and that he proved it by being raised from the dead."

So does the Devil. So do Jehovah's Witnesses (in regards to being the son of God)... why would this answer make anyone see that they are a sinner, repent and beg God for Mercy?

"I just believe there is one savior, Jesus Christ."

Why? Why should I care what Rick Warren believes. What does the Bible say about this (is the point)? There are many who "believe" Jesus is savior but don't think He is Lord (big difference).

I am just pointing out that it is dangerous to leave out portions of the Gospel message especially when they are explained by saying stuff like (I believe, I feel, I percieve" (these are all in the scriptures so why not use it.

Sled Dog said...

Your a pretty tough customer, Diamonda!

I came to Christ through a simple gospel explanation...my need, God's solution, etc. No more info than Warren offered in the interview. Now I'm having doubts whether my conversion was valid!
;-)

S. C. Mooney said...

In that Larry King - Rick Warren interview, Mr. Warren is true to his usual form. He states early in the interview, “every religion is mutually exclusive,” and toward the end of the interview he states equally firmly that, “they all [religions] have a portion of the truth.” This confusion is a perfect example of the “indistinct sound” Paul warned the Church about in I Corinthians 14:8. Mr. Warren’s “gospel” is a story about a father handing out fair tickets to all of his son’s friends. His “gospel” message to an atheist Chinese Communist is that, “God has a ticket for you,” and that, “the only way you can get it is by being a friend of his son.” Speaking directly of the work of God in Christ, Mr. Warren says, “He’s done everything possible,” and proceeds to explain that the rest is up to Man. This is exactly the same thing as saying that it is not possible for God to determine that any particular Man shall be saved. This is not the Gospel of Christ. It is not Christianity Lite, or Christianity 101. It is not Christianity at all.

Sled Dog said...

Well, I know I'll be pretty much a loner on this one, but so be it. I'm just not ready to call Warren a heretic yet. Schuller? Yes. Osteen? Uh-huh. Much of the Emergent church? The more I learn the it seems that way. But I believe Warren wants to serve the living God and the risen Christ. To say that it's not Christianity is quite brazen. Would I attend Saddleback? Nope.

Dan Paden said...

I am pretty sure that I either read or heard Rick Warren say that he was ADHD once. I wish I could come up with a source for it, for it explains a lot. He writes like an ADHD person just talking off the cuff. Much of his material has all the earmarks of having been written in one or two drafts. I don't think he means any harm, and if you pointed out that he was logically and theologically inconsistent, I don't know that he would really comprehend what you were saying. That sort of thing, in my opinion, probably just wouldn't register with him.

So what to do about the influence he's had on the Church? I am not sure that much of anything needs to be done. Warren's influence is very wide but tissue-paper thin.

Renee said...

I think I heard what Dan mentioned also about the ADHD issue (he may have mentioned it when O'Reilly interviewed him).

sledge,
I didn't mean to go head to head with you personally :) I tend to get overly excited about an issue and I apologize if I came off as attacking you.

It is more of an issue of correcting or pointing out where an error is occuring or where the biblical message is being misrepresented. There are many who have probably tried to inform and instruct Warren and other's about the dangers of giving half the Gospel however the more I see examples of this, the more I hear "Do not judge". So many pastors and Christians do not get the proper instruction because no one wants to be told "you're judging, Jesus said don't judge", etc., etc. There is a gross, misguided understanding of Jesus's entire message about judging. Was Paul "judging" Timothy in the epistles? (Was Paul judging in any of his writings?)

There are many pastors, although they mean well and believe, they are poorly trained and in turn, will never come to their full maturity in Christ. And yes some are heretics, as you pointed out. I don't know all of Warren's teachings and I don't think his book is heresy, per se, just lacking in some major areas.

Also, in case you were not aware, I have read that Warren was a student of Schueller ;) Not sure how true that is or how closely he follows Schueller's philosphy.